Spring Break for Aviation Enthusiasts

April 2013

sun nfunWhat has more air traffic than an international airport and twice the parties?

The Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In & Expo, of course!

This year, the 39th annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-In & Expo will be held on April 9 through April 14, 2013 in Lakeland, Florida. There’s something for everyone at Sun ‘n Fun, from aircraft equipment vendors to airshows to aviation education workshops. It’s kind of like spring break for pilots.

There’s a lot to do at Sun ‘n Fun, and it can be overwhelming to plan an itinerary. Here are Aircraft & Marine Insurance Agency’s top picks:

Casino Night: This aviation-themed casino night is Vegas done a pilot’s way. Enjoy poker, black jack, roulette, and craps, all while talking planes with colleagues and fellow aviation enthusiasts. In between games, stop by the live auction and place a bid to win incredible prizes, such as Higher Power hangar door, dinner with aviation legend Bob Hoover, or even your own personal Sun n’ Fun bathroom (bid online before the fly-in)! Proceeds benefit Sun ‘n Fun mission to “preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educations people of all ages.”

Huey Helicopter Rides: The UH-1H “Huey” helicopter performed multiple missions during the Vietnam War. As part of Sun ‘n Fun’s 40th Anniversary of Operation Homecoming, the Army Heritage Foundation will offer rides with veteran pilots and crew aboard a Vietnam-era Huey helicopter.

Splash-In: Hang up your bomber jacket and break out a wetsuit for the Splash-In, a “fly-in within a fly-in” just for seaplanes! On Thursday, April 11, spectators will get to view water take-offs and landings, water bombing, and spot landing.

Night Airshow: We’ve all seen airshows, but what about at night? The Sun ‘n Fun Friday Night Airshow features planes flying with colorful streaming flares in a choreographed flight pattern, and finishes with fireworks.

Aviation Workshops & Forums: Need to brush up on technique or learn how to fly a new type of aircraft? Sun ‘n Fun includes an enormous amount of educational workshops and forums, for everyone from aviation hobbyists to career pilots to kids. If you want to learn about it, it’s happening at Sun ‘n Fun. Workshops include Aircraft Woodwork, Metal Shaping, and Propeller Carving, while Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) forums cover topics like “Loss of Aircraft Control During Takeoff and Landing,” “Pilot’s Bill of Rights,” and, our favorite, “Safety from an Insurance Perspective.”

Overwhelmed? There’s a Sun ‘n Fun app to help keep track of activities and events. Check out the Sun ‘n Fun website to plan your trip!

Photo courtesy of Sun ‘n Fun